Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Thing 23: "This is The End; So long, my friend, The End"

1. What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?
Blogging, Flickr, Zoho, the prizewinning products. I particularly enjoyed creating and maintaining my blog. I think this is because I like to talk and expound and blogging is the perfect opportunity to do this!

2. How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?

I will continue to learn about web-based products and tools. I also found that I have a tendency to just ram my way through even if I'm not understanding what I am doing. For example, I plan on going back and redoing some of the 23 Things so I'll understand them better because I sped through the first time.

3. Were there any take-aways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?

I truly enjoyed the collaborative aspect of this learning, that is, the fact that most staff members in Southern Maryland were working on this project and we were able to talk about the project with each other.

I am disappointed that of the 100 or so blogs from Southern Maryland, most are not very good and do not reflect any true effort being put into the project or into learning. Very few blogs address one of the key points of the project--How does Web 2.0 affect libraries? Very few blogs even answer the question--How can the tool or "thing" be used in a library or by librarians?

I found this very disappointing.

4. What could we do differently to improve upon this program'ss format or concept?

Make the library and program connection more obvious--perhaps chose examples or tools that are being used more prominantly by libraries.

I know from watching five people struggle while doing some of the "things" that there is a wide range of skill level of people doing the program. Be aware that there will be some people doing it who are not very computer literate.

5. If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you again chose to participate?


6. How would you describe your learning experience in a few words or a few sentences, so we can share our successes and promote this program?

I like 23 Things and Web 2.0!
I do! I like them, Jen-You-Know!

And I would try Flickr in a boat.
And I would try tagging with a goat.

And I will write my blog in the rain.
And in the dark. And on a train.
And in a car. And in a tree.
It is so good, so good, you see!

So I will try RSS in a box.
And I will try Rollyo with a fox.
And I will try feeds in a house.
And I will try Meez with a mouse.
And I will try wikis here and there.
Say! I will try YouTube ANYWHERE!

I do so like
23 Things and Web 2.0!
Thank you!
Thank you,

Thing 22: Overdrove

I've used Overdrive before. When they added movies, I couldn't resist checking out the playlist and I registered. I ended up checking out The Battleship Potemkin because I wanted to see the Odessa step scene again. I got it working and watched bits and pieces of the movie at work for the next couple of weeks.

This time I decided to check out an audiobook. I don't have a player, so I downloaded a book (Saving Shiloh by Phyllis Renynolds Naylor) to my computer here at work. I find Overdrive very easy to use. One of the best things is not having to remember any logins or passwords; just scan your library card and you're in like Flynn. Once inside the website, if you have ever bought anything or downloaded anything from the web, it is easy to figure out if your title is available and how to "buy" the title by downloading it. Of course, I might have had it easy since I was downloading to my computer, not to a player.

One thing that did disconcert me was that the first 5 or 6 titles I looked at were all checked out and a few even had holds on them! I guess I shouldn't have been surprised but I was. I'm not aware of the Overdrive circulation statistics but they must be better than I thought.

If I ever buy a player, I would definitely use the Overdrive titles available in our catalog.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Thing 21: Castaway

I like podcasts although they are less interesting than video. I suppose watching someone expound isn't that interesting either, so for some things podcasting is an easier and cheaper alternative to video which still allows for content to quickly reach an audience.

I explored the three podcast search tools. Here is my take on them:

Podcast.net--the worst of the three. I search for "library" and got about half the hits I had gotten on the other two and none of the podcasts seemed to be from 2007! Thumbs down!

Podcastalley.com--This one had more hits than Podcast.net and recent 'casts. The only think I really didn't like about Podcast alley were the ads. Thumbs up!

Yahoo podcasts: This one had even more hits than Postcast Alley, but it looked like a lot of them were duplicates. I did like the fact that they had ratings for each podcast. Thumbs up!

I downloaded one podcast into my blog from Podcast Alley called LibVibe which looks like a good library-based blog (has library news). Each 'cast is sort of long for my taste, but I realized that I was just sitting there listening rather than listening and doing something else.

The advantage of the podcast over a video is that you can definitely multitask while listening to one rather than just sitting and staring at your computer screen. Podcasts may grow on me for this reason.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Thing 20: YouTubing down the information highway

As you can see, I've been playing around with YouTube. Naturally, I looked for library related videos since I needed to limit my searches in some way. I stumbled across a video of a Second Life avatar skating on Info Island. That video gave me intriguing glimpses of the libraries themselves, so I explored some more and found this video tour of the whole Info Island Archepeglio. Actually, looking at these Second Life YouTube videos has gotten me intrigued about Second Life itself! Another benefit of doing 23 Things!

I suppose I should go watch something on YouTube of more substance, such as the Presidential candidate debates, but I find myself wanting to see all the silly things I've read about such as "Zombie Boy Likes Turtles" and so forth. I think that is one of the dangers of YouTube--there is a lot of dross mixed in with just a few videos with actual substantive content. But I suppose that is reflected in the rest of the world also.

I can see libraries using YouTube in many ways, but since there are so many videos on the service, it might be hard to get an audience.

Info Island Archipelago Tour in Second Life

Interesting tour of the alternative library world of Second Life.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Flickr redux: Eydeet

Originally uploaded by myfunnygame
I realized that I hadn't done Flickr justice, so I'm redoing "Thing 5" a bit. I figured out how to download directly from Flickr. This way I don't have to save the picture to my computer.

It is sort of cool, I must admit.

This picture is by Walter Moers who writes and illustrates really great fantasy novels. He should be more famous than he is.

Blog tips

I've been looking at the blogs done by Southern Maryland participants in "23 Things." It is amazing the variety in styles, content and quality. Some blogs are excellent and reflect a lot of work; others, not so much.

Here are some tips that will help make your blog better:

*Name each post appropriate to the "Thing" you are blogging about, i.e., "Thing 5: Flickr".

*Short is not sweet. Don't write single line entries. Write about your learning experience. So, don't just write, "I tried Flickr today. The End." Write about what you thought about the "thing" (likes and dislikes), how you might use the product or knowledge in your personal and/or professional life. Think about how each product can be used in the library setting.

*The best blogs include tidbits of the personal among the professional discussions.

*Use pictures and graphics to spice up your blog. You don't have to use pictures of yourself or family members. You can pull graphics from the web to jazz up the topic.

*Spell check.

*Don't forget that you can always edit your post after it has been published.

*Have fun!

Some good Southern Maryland "23 Things" blogs: